Girl Asleep parents guide

Girl Asleep Parent Guide

While the film points out many of the worst things about being a youth, it offers little advice on how to make matters better.

Overall C

Greta (Bethany Whoitmore) isn't sure if she's asleep or awake as she watches, in a dream-like trance, her childhood slip away and her adulthood approach. But when her Mum (Amber McMahon) throws her a surprise birthday party and invites all her peers from school, the soon to be 15-year-old knows her life is about to become a nightmare.

Release date September 30, 2016

Violence C+
Sexual Content C+
Profanity D
Substance Use C-

Why is Girl Asleep rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Girl Asleep Not Rated

Run Time: 77 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Sometimes parents do the wrong things, for the right reasons. Or at least that is the conclusion Greta Driscoll (Bethany Whitmore) comes to when her mother (Amber McMahon) invites all her peers to a birthday bash to be held in Greta’s behalf.

It is bad enough turning fifteen. It is even worse being the new kid at school. So far Greta has only made one friend: Elliot (Harrison Feldman), a quirky loner who often gets accused of being gay. She has been invited to hang out with some popular girls (Maiah Stewardson, Fiona Dawson, Grace Dawson), but the snobby and promiscuous trio aren’t a group she wants to associate with. No one else has really even taken notice of her. So why would a shy and awkward girl like herself want to be at the center of a party of strangers?

Tensions are running high at home too. The recent move has left Greta’s very social mum with nowhere to go and nothing to do, except drink secretly. Her father (played by actor Matthew Whittet, who also penned this script) is trying to smooth the family’s transition. Still, the married couple’s discussions frequently erupt into loud arguments. Her older sister Gen (Imogen Archer) seems to be adjusting the best—but everyone is a little uncomfortable with the womanizing boyfriend (Eamon Farren) she’s picked up.

Feeling like she is trapped in a trance she can’t awake from, Greta agrees to be the guest of honor and wear the ridiculous dress her mother has chosen for her. Yet as the celebration gets underway, things start to unravel. After being bullied, mocked and humiliated by some of her schoolmates (which includes ample amounts of crude slang and derogatory terms), the anguished youth retreats to her bedroom. Here she falls into a dream-like state that takes her on a nightmarish journey of self-discovery.

If you aren’t already thinking “art house film”, you certainly will be as Greta enters this dark fantasy world comprised of a scary forest and a feeling of impending peril. Strange characters in stranger costumes occupy this place. Some seem protective, like a fur-clad woman (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) with fighting skills. Others appear savage, such as a grotesque zombie and a pack of angry dogs. And another is a handsome celebrity who lulls her with flattery while making sexual advances. Just what she is supposed to learn from these experiences will be open to the viewer’s interpretation. I suspect we are supposed to pick up some clues from the fact many of the characters she meets in the woods are played by the same actors that represent people in her real life.

Like Greta’s parents, the movie seems well-intentioned. The art direction of the 1970’s sets, the inclusion of graphic effects in serval scenes and some amazing make-up and camera work, show a conscientious effort with the film’s technical elements. However, the inclusion of racy language, mild and moderate profanities and two uses of a strong sexual expletive (once with a sexual connotation) may be a concern for family audiences. As well, there is the depiction of a teen girl dating (and necking with) a man too old for her, but too young for the married and professional women he also flirts with. Meanwhile, the script’s message is lost in metaphor, so all its earnest attempts to create an insightful coming-of-age story only result in a confusing and superficial look at the plight of adolescents. While the film points out many of the worst things about being a youth, it offers little advice on how to make matters better.

Directed by Rosemary Myers. Starring Bethany Whitmore, Harrison Feldman, Matthew Whittet. Running time: 77 minutes. Theatrical release September 30, 2016. Updated

Girl Asleep
Rating & Content Info

Why is Girl Asleep rated Not Rated? Girl Asleep is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: Parents argue with each other while discussing concerns about their teenaged children. Bullying and name-calling occur between teens at school and at other gatherings. Characters enter a dark forest and are chased by dogs: one is attacked by them. A zombie-like character has a finger pulled off. A teen boy discusses being bullied because he is assumed to be gay.

Sexual Content: A teen girl has an older, womanizing boyfriend; the pair are seen necking. Jokes are made about body functions. A character cross dresses. Teen girls talk about kissing techniques including using their tongues. A man is seen in a tight-fitting bathing suit and short shorts. An older man kisses a teen’s hand, flirts with her in a sensual manner and talks about having sex with her.

Language: Frequent sexual slang terms are used, as well as crude words to describe body parts. A strong sexual expletive is used twice – once with sexual implications. Gender slurs are used to bully and mock characters. Also frequently heard are mild and moderate profanities, scatological slang, terms of deity used as expletives and words that sound similar to curses.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Wine is drunk with dinner. A mother drinks secretly. Teens and adults drink at a party. A character smokes.

Page last updated

Girl Asleep Parents' Guide

What do you think Greta learns from her experiences? If you were to write a sequel to this movie, how might Greta be different because of these life lessons?

Elliot boldly confronts Greta near the end of the movie and tells her how she has hurt him. What does this demonstrate about Elliot’s ability to advocate for himself? Were you surprised by his fortitude? What could Greta learn from Elliot? Do you have acquaintances who may offer important life lessons that you have overlooked?

Greta’s mother is determined to teach Greta how to socialize with others by holding a party and inviting her daughter’s classmates. What is wrong with her methods? What might she have done instead?

News About "Girl Asleep"

From the Studio:
The world is closing in on Greta Driscoll. On the cusp of turning fifteen she can't bear to leave her childhood, it contains all the things that give her comfort in this incomprehensible new world. She floats in a bubble of loserdom with her only friend Elliott, until her parents throw her a surprise 15th birthday party and she's flung into a parallel place; a world that's weirdly erotic, a little bit violent and thoroughly ludicrous - only there can she find herself. Based on the critically acclaimed production by Windmill Theatre, GIRL ASLEEP is a journey into the absurd, scary and beautiful heart of the teenage mind.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Girl Asleep movie is February 7, 2017. Here are some details…

Girl Asleep releases to home video (blu-ray) on January 31, 2017.

Related home video titles:

Moonrise Kingdom is another quirky coming-of-age story. A depressed teen learns a lot about improving his perspective in It’s Kind of a Funny Story. A young woman works out her life’s problems in an alternate dimension in MirrorMask.

Related news about Girl Asleep

CIFF: Calgary International Film Festival: 2016

CIFF: Calgary International Film Festival: 2016